The First Nations Strategic Advisory Committee is a representative national group of people from six different First Nations/Countries, who bring their lived experiences and knowledges of being a First Nations person to guide EDO in its areas of work which involve First Nations peoples and communities, including internally. The Committee is highly respected within EDO.

Our First Nations Strategic Advisory Committee members are:

Scott Franks

Wonnarua (NSW)


Scott Franks is the Business Development Manager for Yamari Ochre Signs and Owner and CEO of Tocomwall Pty Limited, a supply nation certified company specialising in heritage and environment (based in Sydney) that has national reach. Over the years Scott has held community positions such as Chairperson of the Wonnarua Local Aboriginals Lands Council in the Hunter valley, Education and Cell Watch committee member for Ungooroo Aboriginal Corporation and been a member of the NSW Rural Fire Service for 20 years. The NSW Land & Environment Court has recognised Scott as an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Specialist, due to his extensive in-field Aboriginal archaeological field survey, excavation and site interpretation experience.

With project management experience spanning straightforward due diligence work to complex environmental projects for State and Federal Government Departments, Scott has been instrumental in developing and driving outcomes for boarder Aboriginal community outcomes and employment. Born and raised on the lands of the Wonnarua (People from the Hills and Plains) in the Hunter Valley NSW, Scott is now based on Dharawal country (Sutherland Shire NSW).

Conrad Bilney

Kokotha and Southern Pitjantjatjarra – South Australia (Nullabor) and central Australia

(Deputy Chairperson)

Conrad Bilney, a skilled researcher in Business (BbusStud) and Environmental Management (MenvMgt) degrees, has discovered new edible insect species through DNA barcoding and Aboriginal knowledge. His work in documenting insect consumption across cultures helps preserve this information for future generations. He is also an advocate for environmental protection, wildlife conservation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights, and ethical sustainability.

He has published research in reputable journals, including “The Bush Coconut (scale insect gall) as Food at Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia” (Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 2016). Another publication, “Current issues involved with the identification and nutritional value of wood grubs consumed by Australian Aborigines” (Insect Science, December 2016), adds to his journal list. The “Journal of Ethnobiology” also includes an acknowledgement of his contributions in the “Edible Insect Larvae in Kaytetye: Their Nomenclature and Significance” by Si & Turpin (2017).

Conrad’s work extends beyond research, with a strong presence in public speaking as a guest speaker for Ecological Society of Australia conferences in Adelaide and Brisbane, particularly integrating DNA gene sequencing with Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge.

Waniki Maluwapi

Malu Kiwai, Boigu Island, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands) and Papuan storyteller

Waniki Maluwapi is a Zenadh Kes and Papuan Meanjin-based storyteller. She is an organiser and digital storyteller at 350 Australia, a non-profit organisation moving Australia beyond fossil fuels.

Waniki acts as campaign support for the landmark Torres Strait Climate Justice case ‘Our Islands Our Home’. She is passionate about amplifying the voices of those on the frontlines of the climate crisis through storytelling.

Jayne Christian

Burramattagal, Dharug (NSW)

Jayne Christian is a Baramadagal woman of the Dharug Nation, now known as Western Sydney, through the Reid / Goldspink family line. Jayne was raised on Wiradjuri Country where she has kinship connections. Jayne established a career as a social justice lawyer and is a cultural practitioner in the art of weaving. Jayne is the Chairperson of the City of Parramatta First Nations advisory group and advisor to the Treaty Council.

Jayne is passionate about nation re-building, Caring for Country and foregrounding Indigenous Sovereignty in the way we tell stories in public spaces. Jayne is glad to be working with the Environmental Defenders Office where a tangible difference can be made to the way Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can be supported to exercise their Caring for Country responsibilities.

Harold Ludwick

Guugun Yimidhirr and Kuku Yalabnji – Bulgun Warra (FNQ)

Harold a Bulgun Warra man whose Traditional land lies west south west of Cooktown, his geographical symbol is the “Black Cockatoo” which identifies groups from inland areas as inland people (Bama wakuurrga )

He’s in his 8th year as a director of the Hopevale Arts & Cultural Centre, also held the position of Vice President for the Indigenous Art Centre Alliance board in 2021.

Through his youth he was taught traditional dances and songs from a few Cape York communities and Torres Straits then in 2016 he started teaching children from his community of Hopevale traditional dancing and choreographed cultural dreamtime stories which showcased at the Cooktown Discovery Festival 2018,19 & 20.

From 2018 – 2021 he was the Indigenous Project officer for the James Cook Museum in Cooktown. During his time at the Museum he led the reimagining of the Indigenous content and displays in the Museum working with community groups and a design team from the Gold Coast to correctly & chronologically show history with bama (Indigenous people) as the first displays and stories on entry and the name change from the James Cook Museum- to the Cooktown Museum.

For 18 months leading up to the 250th anniversary of Capt. Cook arriving on these shores he collated content for the current 250th Endeavour Exhibition which added perspectives of Indigenous groups who witnessed Cook voyage up the East Coast of Australia but written out of the history of this Nation.